August 24th, 2018
I asked Azaaa where she would like to meet up:
We are on a nature walk in one of the many public parks in New Hampshire. I’ve got on sneakers, jeans and a gray women of Wakanda t-shirt. It is over 85 degrees Fahrenheit and humid. It’s buggy, it’s muggy, and I’m loving it. We’ve started our walk on the orange trail for beginners, but have already made a few too many twists and turns. There is something about fresh air and brisk walking, that allows you to feel uncaged and unburdened. We get to talkin’. Talking so much, we no longer know which trail we’re on in this big wooded park. All we can see on this sunny afternoon is the well traveled dirt path we are on, dense woods all around us, and the beautiful hum of life from the bugs, birds and furry creatures that call the great outdoors home.
Laura Mae: Hello Azaa’a! How are you doing today?
Azaa’a Davis: Hi Laura, I’m having an interesting day. Husband and baby are both under the weather. How are you?
L: Aww! I’m so sorry to hear that. I hope whatever it is they have doesn’t get you! I’m very well today, thank you!
A: My husband has a headache and sometimes men tolerate pain a lot less than women. My baby is fussy due to teething. Life as a new mom.
L: Aw that’s no fun. Oh, teething is the worst! It’s a new life, that’s for sure! How old is the little one?
A: Almost 11 months old.
L: Adorable. Congratulations! Almost one! So much fun! So, with having a new baby, how do you write?
A: Now that’s is the golden question! I wanted to become a novelist so much. My passion and determination allow me to make sacrifices here and there. I don’t sleep as much as I should. I write anytime between 9pm-1am. Most days it’s more like 11pm-3am.
L: Ambitious of you! Very dedicated indeed!
A: I rarely write every day. It’s usually 2-3 times a week.
L: I know others like to beat it into writers, but it’s not always possible to write everyday. As long as you write anything, that’s all that matters!
A: True. When I haven’t written for days, it takes me longer to get into “the zone.” Daily writing is ideal with a day or two off to recharge the creative well.
L: Same here.
So when do you think your love for writing came about?
A: I wasn’t always good at reading. My mom stressed the value of education. She always encouraged me to read and write. I was a high school freshman and stuck in the school library one day. I noticed a fantasy novel with the most beautiful cover. It conveyed such raw emotion. For the art work alone I took a closer look at the book, read the back cover, then checked it out.
L: Oh wow! What a good mom you have.
A: For the first time as a young adult, I read something for fun and was moved. I cried and laughed and cheered the protagonist on. Daughter of the Forest will forever be my favorite book because it got me reading. By the end of high school, my mom would beg me to stop reading! Lol because I would read instead of sleeping and be very tired the next morning, not wanting to go to school so early.
L: That’s so funny! So books really seem to change your life! Who would you say is your favorite literary character?
A: Umm… that’s tough to answer. I enjoyed Sookie Stackhouse. She tried her best to be honest and polite, to treat others with kindness. I also liked that the author described her as a size 10 (I think). I remember appreciating that this kind desirable woman was not skinny.
L: Awesome! So, can you tell me what you are working on right now?
A: I just finished writing my first full length novel! It’s urban fantasy, some might call it dark fantasy. I truly wrote in the genre I love and I wrote the story I wanted to read.
L: Oh interesting! That would be insane.
A: Nadira Holden is out of her element but is needed more than ever before – too bad humanity doesn’t know it yet. There is another side to my story. If you strip all the supernatural elements away… Nadira is a girl in search of her missing father, and she is willing to go places that scare her and confront people that terrify her in order to rescue him.
L: She sounds awesome. I love the strong female tone in this! I’m guessing that you had your book self-published. How was that experience for you? Any advice for others thinking about it?
A: Thank you. It’s been a joy to create her and image all of her strengths and flaws. Yes, I am an indie author. I did it for two reasons. One, I wanted to test my writing in the market place. I decided that the best way to know if my writing is any good will be to write my best story and let sales and reviews tell me if others find it valuable. Two, as a new wife, mom and novelist, I wanted to write on my own schedule. I wanted to set my own deadlines and publish as often as I could manage. In traditional publishing, you are given deadlines and you don’t control your release dates.
L: I totally agree!
A: My advice is to get feedback on your story from trusted people. Rewrite your story as many times as you need to. And, save money for good covers and advertising!
L: Yes! Exactly! So what would you say is your favorite element to write about? (characters, description or whatever)
A: Great question! I really like writing tense dialogue between two characters that are at odds. It’s fun and almost gossip-y.
L: Oh banter is the best!
A: A lot of the drama I create is from one character needing something from another and not knowing how to get it. It could be information, help, love…
L: Nice! So much fun! Do you have any music you need while you write or are a silent type? haha
A: Because of the late hours in which I write, I end up writing in silence. If there’s a lot going on around me (like at a cafe) I will be more inclined to listen to classical music to soothe me. I find song lyrics too distracting when I’m writing.
L: Yeah, I can see that. Who would you say is your inspiration? Anyone you look up to?
A: I don’t have many role models but… I am inspired by Sarah Maas and L. A. Banks. These two authors created popular characters (assassins & slayers) that I found relatable and interesting. Both authors write book series and I love reading all that they write. (Unfortunately, L A Banks passed away years ago.)
L: Oh yeah, I’ve heard of Sarah Maas. I haven’t read her work, but i know of her! She seems like she’s a great writer!
A: Young like us and a great story teller.
L: Alright, Azaa’a, last question. In all of your experience, what would be the best advice for aspiring authors out there?
A: I can think of one hundred things to say, but… it all boils down to self confidence. A lot of artists and writers are plagued by self doubt and talk themselves out of many opportunities. * Take a leap of faith. Bet on yourself. Go for it! * If you want to become a writer, write. Write the best story you can. Then write your next story.
L: Great advice!! Thank you so much for chatting with me, Azaa’a!
A: I hope my answers were relatable, and inspiring.
I hope we stay in touch. Enjoy your evening!
L: Of course! Thank you!
I am a stay at home mom by day and a writer at night. I usually write between the hours of 11pm and 3am, 2 to 3 nights a week, when my mind is foggy but my imagination is freed. My dream in life is to write popular fiction that inspires people. My goal is to earn enough income to buy a house, live debt free and ensure that my husband and I always have careers we are passionate about. Reading the fantasy novel Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier at age fourteen changed my life. It sparked my imagination and woke me up. I developed a love for reading, discovered a love for writing, and remembered my love for drawing.
Children of Orion, the secret protectors of mankind, trained Nadira in the ancient art of
demon hunting. Since then, Nadira built herself a fearsome reputation by banishing every demon she has encountered and killing the strays who transgressed against humans. Then, she died in battle.
Now, Nadira has been resurrected in present day New York, where demons have apparently made peace with humans. Forced to rejoin the endless fight for the souls of mankind, Nadira is told by the Children of Orion that she is their weapon in the fight to expose the demons as the hellspawn they are.
Can Nadira remain a beacon of light for other paranormal hunters, even with her mysterious, post-resurrection blackouts? Or is she a few bad deeds away from losing her humanity and tarnishing Children of Orion’s reputation for good?
Fight with the legendary demon hunter Nadira Holden in this new urban fantasy series that combines monster slaying action, family drama and steamy romance.